Episode #30 - The Ghost in the Machine
Original Airdate - August 3rd, 2011
To thwart Tony’s take over of Stark International, a devious Stane hires Ghost to help him acquire the Iron Man armor … leading the spy to discover Iron Man’s identity!

Written By Andrew Robinson, Thomas Barichella
Directed By Stephane Juffe and Phillipe Guyenne
Review by Arsenal


Iron Man: Armored Adventures is a braver show than I give it credit for.

Back in Chasing Ghosts, it introduced Ghost – a villain who claims he never loses.

That’s a hell of a claim and other comic shows have used it before to raise the perceived pedigree of a new villain. (The first example that comes to mind is Curare in Batman Beyond.) The problem with that claim is the hero always defeats the villain by the end of the episode; and, thus, the streak ends before it begins.

But Iron Man didn’t sell out Ghost. That would have been taking the easy way out

Instead, the writers made him as awesome as he claimed to be. He beat Tony in Chasing Ghosts (which, by the way, was the first episode of this show I called “good” without any qualifiers.) Tony only got to win on a technicality when Whitney Stane bribed Ghost to go away.

Now, the creators of the show brought Ghost back and let him win… again.

That’s right. In this episode, Tony loses. Badly. He can’t even claim a moral victory.

It feels like a gut punch when you realize Iron Man won’t save the day. We are so conditioned to expect the good guy to win that it takes a second to accept there’s no last-minute twist coming.

I give credit to the creators of this show for having the courage to let the bad guy win every once in awhile. (I could only think of one other superhero show that was willing to go that route – X-Men Evolution in “The Hex Factor” and early Apocalypse episodes.)

Also, the nature of Ghost’s win (which I’d rather not spoil) pushes the show in an interesting new direction. Moreover, the next time Ghost shows up he can taunt Tony with the fact that he’s never beaten him.

This isn’t a perfect episode – it’s not more entertaining than, say, Chasing Ghosts – but it is an important episode.

And brave. Very brave.

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